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Just Cause 3 looks to improve the series’ narrative, but it won’t lose its goofiness

It has explosions, a massive game world, extensive destructibility, and a very versatile grappling device, but Just Cause 3’s developer is also hoping that it can deliver a story that’s up to par with all of the crazy action going on around you. But don’t worry: it’s not taking itself too seriously.

In a new developer diary, Avalanche Studios admit that, contrary to the largely positive reception to the rest of the game, Just Cause 2 received criticism for its narrative. The team focused on giving “a depth” to protagonist Rico this time around, taking him back to his former home of Medici — a place where his parents were killed by the brutal dictator Di Ravello. That all sounds pretty heavy, but Avalanche promises that the game won’t be the dreaded “dark final chapter” to which many game franchises fall victim.

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“I think it would be a mistake if we tried to do a story that was very serious. It’s a game where you mess around and do stuff,” says lead mission designer David Lorentz. “So to match that, you need a crazy story that couldn’t take itself too seriously because it just wouldn’t fit.”

Avalanche has also switched to performance capture technology for Just Cause 3, letting the team record both motion and voice simultaneously. What makes this especially cool, however, is that the process includes a “cameraman” holding a monitor that allows him to see the game world as the actors are recording their scenes.

As he holds a great attachment to Medici, game director Roland Lesterlin stresses that Rico doesn’t want the country in ruins by the time he leaves. Of course, as its a Just Cause game, we all know how well that’s going to turn out.

Just Cause 3 launches on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on December 1.